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Major UK airports face chaos as electronic passport gates malfunction

11:01 PM | 27 May, 2023
Major UK airports face chaos as electronic passport gates malfunction

LONDON - Passengers arriving in the UK experienced extensive delays at airports nationwide due to the malfunctioning of passport e-gates.

Frustrated travelers shared their anger as long queues formed at airports such as Heathrow, Manchester, and Gatwick. Though the Home Office confirmed on Saturday evening that all e-gates were back to normal operation, the disruption began on Friday night and affected all airports using the e-gate system.

The technology - which malfunctioned -  expedites passport control by enabling passengers to scan their passports and verify their identity through facial recognition. Manual passport checks were conducted for those affected, particularly at larger airports with e-gates.

The situation caused chaos and discomfort for passengers, with incidents of queue jumping and even fainting reported.

A spokesperson for one of the affected airports said the mood among passengers had been "one of patience and understanding".

One of 300 passengers stuck in a queue at Heathrow Airport early in the morning said some passengers had overheated in the hot glass building.

"One poor elderly gentleman in his seventies traveling alone collapsed, and had to be helped by other passengers and staff. After that, bottles of water were distributed," he told BBC.

Eurostar passengers were also impacted, facing lengthy queues at Paris Gare de Nord due to the non-functioning e-gates. The busy travel weekend coinciding with the bank holiday and school break exacerbated the situation.

Besides, travelers departing the UK from the Port of Dover experienced delays due to failure in the French passport system. Despite the inconvenience, authorities reassured that there was no compromise to national security as all arrivals were thoroughly checked at manned officer desks. Fortunately, the Dover issue has now been fixed, but cars and coaches were waiting for about an hour, with about 400 lorries in que to make the crossing.

The disruption came as a shock to the travelers many of whom had planned the vacations for years as the travel restrictions during the pandemic didn't allow them board the plane.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 14 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 14, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 14 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 299.95 302.9
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45
 
76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86
 
1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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